The Governor of the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has said the Federal Government was talking with China so it would also be importing some of its own requirements from Nigeria.
According to Emefiele, this would help to reduce the gulf in trading between the two countries.
Speaking at a press conference at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, on the last day of the 2016 World Bank/IMF spring meeting, Emefiele also said part of Nigeria’s deal with China was that the country became the Asian country’s trading hub in West Africa.
He said: “China has appointed South Africa as its trading hub for Remnibi transactions in the South African region, has appointed Kenya as its trading hub for East and Central Africa.
“And Nigeria, the mandate that we signed is for us to be appointed as the trading hub in West African. In all, we expect that it is going to be mutually beneficial.
“We are talking to China so that it would also be importing some of its items from Nigeria, so that the trading balance can be sort of reduced.
“Will Nigeria benefit from this? I want to say categorically that Nigeria benefits from this. It’s less pressure on the dollar and consequently on our reserves.”
Emefiele added that the CBN could not continue with indeterminate adjustment (devaluation) of the currency, without taking necessary structural reforms.
“For the first time, we are taking structural reforms seriously in the country. We’ve always talked about, when you do an adjustment, follow it up with structural reforms.
“But we are saying this time we’ve done an adjustment and we are following it up with structural reform, where we are saying we must diversify the economy away from depending on oil.
“I’ve said it that we have seen people who are coming in an investing. During the china trip, we saw people who said they can now come in instead of exporting those items into Nigeria, they can now bring those plants into Nigeria and begin to produce those things in Nigeria because our climate is good.”